The NY Rangers deserve a pat on the back and some acknowledgement. After a beginning to the season that looked far from good, the New York Rangers responded and came to life. Clawing at the middle of the pack for most of the season, the Rangers found their way into the playoffs and surprisingly a spot in the Stanley Cup final against the big and mighty L.A. Kings. Though the Rangers lost 4-1 in the series, you can’t say that they lacked effort. The team was right in the mix almost every game (three of the five games were decided in extra periods). A different bounce of the puck could have resulted in a win for any of those games. When they say hockey is a game of inches they aren’t joking. The Rangers showed they can score, defend and skate with the best.
The Rangers, like many other teams in the league, face a number of decisions regarding resigning players. The team has already spoken out, saying they want to keep the group intact, hopeful to get back to the Stanley Cup next year. After getting a taste, it is no surprise just how anxious many players must feel after coming so close to the ultimate prize.
Another looming question mark is who will become captain? Many people believe Ryan McDonagh will likely be the candidate to receive the high honor. McDonagh displayed the kind of work ethic and leadership that people envision for a captain in the New York market. He does all the little things, works hard, and provides a scoring touch that we haven’t seen from a defenseman since Brian Leetch. You can see that McDonagh would love the challenge, and with departing veteran Brad Richards leaving, the distinguish is all but his.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Rangers shape up in the short off season. A lot of question marks will be answered soon and it’s exciting.